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Turkey backtracks on Amnesty International country chief release Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Turkey backtracks on Amnesty International country chief release

Kilic and ten other human rights activists are on trial for "terrorism charges" [Getty]

Date of publication: 1 February, 2018

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A court decision made yesterday to release the head of Turkey's branch of human rights group Amnesty International has been scrapped.

A court decision to release the head of rights group Amnesty International in Turkey was scrapped on Thursday.

Istanbul court ordered Taner Kilic to remain in jail for the duration of his trial on terror charges.

Andrew Gardner, Turkey's Amnesty researcher posted on twitter saying, "The Istanbul trial court has now overturned its own release verdict it made yesterday Taner will stay in pre-trial detention".

Yesterday, a Turkish court had ordered the release of the jailed chairman, though the trial was set to continue despite global outrage at Turkey's ongoing imprisonment of human rights activists and journalists.

Amnesty's Turkey chair Kilic was detained in June on accusations of membership of the organisation led by the alleged mastermind of last year's failed coup, US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen.

Kilic and ten other human rights activists are on trial for "terrorism charges" including Amnesty's Turkey director Idil Eser, who were detained in July after holding a workshop on an island off Istanbul.

Prosecutors accuse Kilic of having prior knowledge of preparations for the Istanbul workshop.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in July said the activists had been taken into custody after a tip-off that they were working against the government, comparing them to those involved in the coup bid.

Ankara accuses Gulen of ordering last year's attempted overthrow of Erdogan but the preacher denies the charges.

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